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Live Killzone 2 interview

Guerrilla answered your questions.

Killzone 2 developer Guerrilla Games has spent an entire hour answering your questions about the multiplayer beta test.

Senior online game designer Eric Boltjes and senior producer Angie Smets have answered everything from whether there will be more chances to join the testing, to if we'll see a demo at some point in the future.

The full transcript follows, with the earliest questions and answers first.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

Coverage

A% Super Moderating Hero: OK! First, please could you both give us a little background information about what you do at Guerrilla and why you are so famous?

A% Angie Smets: I wouldn't say we are famous! Well, my name is Angie Smets, and I am the senior producer for the online multiplayer.

A% Eric Boltjes: I am Eric Boltjes and I am senior game designer on Killzone 2, specifically focusing on everything multiplayer!

I also am responsible for our community site: www.killzone.com

Robert Purchese

Q%Mugwum%5% One of the most obvious outlets for feedback so far has been previews on places like Eurogamer and IGN, and the comments readers have made about them. Have you seen anything in those that's helped?

A% Eric Boltjes: We have gotten an amazing amount of feedback on our beta from multiple sources and it has all been really helpful! We changed many things in the final game according to the feedback we got!

A% Angie Smets: We did three beta tests in total, and each really helped by getting feedback on the tweaks we made.

A% Eric Boltjes: Well, one of the things we changed since the beta is the Revive ability camera. We got lots of feedback that it was confusing and disorientating when you got revived by the Medic. So we changed the camera to slowly move towards the direction you were going to face when you spawned, which helped a lot!

A% Angie Smets: Another example would be us changing the distance that the shotgun does damage from, or adding more presets for the controls.

A% Eric Boltjes: Yeah, lots of people wanted more flexibility with the controls, so we gave them lots more options!

Robert Purchese

Q%Arwin%17749% Have you had to make any technological compromises in the beta compared to the singleplayer campaign? (En groetjes uit Maastricht.)

A% Eric Boltjes: Groetjes terug!

A% Angie Smets: Gezellig.

A% Eric Boltjes: Our aim was always to make multiplayer look just as good as single-player, and I am proud to say we have really succeeded. It was quite a challenge to get 32 players on-screen working with this much graphical detail, but I think everyone will agree it looks amazing!

Robert Purchese

Q%Mugwum%5% Have you had to dramatically alter anything in your original plans because of results from the beta? Are there any meaty features being removed or significantly altered?

A% Angie Smets: No we didn't.

A% Eric Boltjes: Well it's quite amazing to see how our paper design from years ago actually turned out the way it did when we implemented it. It is always quite hard to judge how stuff is going to turn out and we didn't have to change anything major!

Robert Purchese

Q%MatteG%77580% When will you be opening the beta up to the public or inviting more people to join? Will this be the last beta test you'll run for Killzone 2?

A% Angie Smets: I am sorry, this is the last beta test. So if you are not in now, there will not be a chance for you to join. I am sorry.

A% Eric Boltjes: You're going to have to be patient until we release!

A% Super Moderating Hero: Does that mean you're not inviting any more people to the beta?

A% Angie Smets: That's correct.

Robert Purchese

Q%Gazza_UK%135765% Why did you decide to leave out the cover system in the multiplayer, even though it has such a big role on the SP campaign?

A% Eric Boltjes: We ran a lot of tests with the cover system in multiplayer, but we just found that because of the 360 degrees nature of multiplayer, it just didn't really work. We found that it didn't add enough, and players would just rather not use it!

Robert Purchese

Q%urban%6657% What's your favourite "perk" in killzone 2 multiplayer?

A% Eric Boltjes: We call them Badge Abilities! And my personal favorite is the Cloak Suit. I am quite the sniper and I just love hiding in the shadows, waiting for my next victim.

A% Angie Smets: Mine is the deployable spawn grenades, as this gives a great tactical advantage to your faction.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: We tried to get beta keys for everybody that asked a question today, but Sony said there were none available. Could you maybe help? Or are we being much too cheeky?

A% Angie Smets: Yes, you are being too cheeky!

Robert Purchese

Q%Triggerhappytel%12763% From our playtest of Killzone 2 at the Eurogamer Expo last month, it looks like a technical beast, matched by very few console games at the moment. Did you learn a lot of lessons from your previous games, and how have you found the PS3 to develop for? How hard are you pushing the console - could you get more out of it if you had more time?

A% Eric Boltjes: Killzone2 has always aimed to get the most out of the platform, both in gameplay and technically. Of course there were some very hard lessons during the development but the technology itself is simply amazing to work with. The power and memory allowed us to do things we before could only dream about!

A% Angie Smets: What we definitely learned from Killzone 1 was that you need to start development of your online portion of the game at day one, and playtest from day one as well, which is what we did.

We also learned a lot from our Killzone 1 community.

Robert Purchese

Q%dirigiblebill%46414% Eric, you once told Eurogamer Killzone 2 will be a game everybody can get into, regardless of skill level. My experiences with the multiplayer beta say otherwise - I must have died every twenty seconds for my first half dozen matches. Are you concerned the game will be too tough for newcomers?

A% Eric Boltjes: We learned a few things about this during the beta and we have fixed them for the full game! For example, the "My Rank Only" game filtering was much improved and the join game options have been expanded to aid this! You should definitely find more suitable games in the final game!

A% Angie Smets: There are also the online bots, and you can use them for training, even if you are more skilled already, as they feature different difficulty settings.

Robert Purchese

Q%projectmayhem%22289% Seeing as there are no more beta phases planned, will there be a demo for people to try?

A% Super Moderating Hero: And what about DLC - will that feature in your future plans, as there will be no more chances to garner feedback from the community?

A% Angie Smets: We can't really talk about our demo plans at this time.

A% Eric Boltjes: We are planning for DLC, but what exactly you are going to have to wait a little while longer to find out! But rest assured we are planning for it!

Robert Purchese

Q%Pirotic%39% How close do you think the final product is going to look to the initial pre-rendered sequence we saw at E3 a few years back?

A% Eric Boltjes: That movie was our target for graphics and intense combat, we're quite happy with how the game looks and I hope you agree!

Robert Purchese

Q%johnboy_johsnon%12451% It's been a long time since that trailer - do you think the hype around the title has suffered because of the wait?

A% Eric Boltjes: The response to the Beta has been simply amazing and we have much more to show you!

Robert Purchese

Q%OnASteamer%52384% Do you have plans for a themed area within Home? How enthusiastic do you feel about matchmaking and strategy-discussion possibilities in Home?

A% Angie Smets: We have yet to announce our plans for Home. But keep those public beta questions coming! ;)

Robert Purchese

Q%Mugwum%5% Which games have inspired the multiplayer side of Killzone 2? Do you draw any features from Gears of War or Call of Duty?

A% Eric Boltjes: We draw our inspiration from lots of different places! Movies, games, real life! We really tried to make Killzone 2 stand on its own and be unique in its own way!

We really focused on making Killzone 2 multiplayer be really customisable and to be very community driven, with features like Clans and Leaderboards, so there is a lot to offer for any player!

Robert Purchese

Q%Mugwum%5% Presumably there's a danger that your feedback is biased towards core and hardcore gamers when you're handing out keys to top PSN subscribers, journalists and people at your publisher. How do you avoid that? Or is that what you want anyway?

A% Angie Smets: We encourage everybody taking part in the beta to give feedback. And we had a wide variety of types of players participating.

A% Eric Boltjes: The good thing about getting feedback from 'hardcore' players is that they're really focused on the details of your game; the little niggly things that make or break a title. So getting feedback from them is always very good!

But you also need feedback from the more casual gamers, to ensure that everyone can enjoy your title. A bit of both really!

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Do you think it's easier to launch a shooter on PS3 as there is less competition from games like Gears of War, Halo 3 and Left 4 Dead?

A% Eric Boltjes: Regardless of platform, we've always striven to make Killzone 2 the best shooter out there, and it struggled more against our own ambitions than to those of other products!

Again, we really wanted to make Killzone 2 something unique and stand out on its own!

Robert Purchese

Q%Mr-Bozzey%178385% Who's the best on the staff at Killzone 2 multiplayer? Could your team beat a crack-squad of Eurogamer readers?

A% Angie Smets: Well, I thought nobody would beat our QA team, but after watching some players in the public beta, I think they would beat them.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: How's the website coming on? Did beta feedback inform the design of it any further?

A% Angie Smets: The website is coming along nicely, was great to get feedback on that as well during the public beta, and many good suggestions are being incorporated.

We got great feedback on the tutorials and how they could be further improved, as well as some good suggestions on the forum functionality.

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: Why did you pick the maps you chose for the beta? Are there many more in the full game?

A% Eric Boltjes: We wanted to make sure the maps in the Beta were varying in gameplay-type; meaning that we wanted one large map, one more indoor map and one small map just to see how the game would hold up in different situations.

A% Angie Smets: And the full game will have eight maps, and some really cool new environments.

A% Eric Boltjes: Again, of varying types and sizes!

Robert Purchese

Q%Fab4%28575% Could you tell us something about the multiplayer hosting system? (I never made it into the beta) Is it dedicated servers? Is it P2P? What form of hit detection will it have? These are my biggest complaints with previous FPS games, where multiplayer becomes a lottery because of poorly implemented net code. (En groetjes uit Enschede!)

A% Eric Boltjes: Groetjes is our silly way of saying "hi" in this country! Groetjes terug!

We cannot say much about technical implementations of our networking code but rest assured we're doing everything we can to make it stable and enjoyable! This is also a reason why we did three beta phases; to test the networking code!

Robert Purchese

A% Super Moderating Hero: When does this current beta phase end?

A% Angie Smets: Last day will be this Sunday

A% Super Moderating Hero: And, finally, one we ask everybody - would you both rather have lasers for eyes, or be able to turn invisible?

A% Eric Boltjes: Invisible! For sure!

A% Angie Smets: Same here!

Robert Purchese

Q%Ainigma%177223% If you read the Eurogamer Face-Offs, many multi-format games appear to run worse on the PS3. Looking at Killzone 2, and at what you have manged to do with lighting, particle effects etc., is there an explanation why other developers are struggling to get the same results?

A% Angie Smets: We can't comment on that.

Robert Purchese

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is a long-time writer and now podcaster for Eurogamer. He loves telling a story and listening to them.

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